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Harassment from neighbour by illegal construction

Sir, I’m a defence personal and posted in West Bengal. I have a house in Delhi where my father is living alone. Two of my neighbours are harassing my father by doing illegal construction in the proximity of my house. Recently they dug the land along with the wall of my house for laying their water pipeline. They are also threatening my father because they have many contacts in local police. Please help

Question from: New Delhi

You may file a complaint before the vice-chairman of the Delhi Development Authority against such illegal construction. They cannot do any construction work in the contravention of the sanctioned plan. Every construction within the territory of the development authority carries on after getting the approval from that authority. The owner cannot change the site plan as per his wish. If the DDA has sanctioned the house plan, then they are bound to construct their home according to the plan. Every house plan has details about the construction of water and sewage facility.

Section 14 of the Delhi Development Act 1957 says that “After the coming into operation of any of the plans in a zone, no person shall use or permit to be used any land or building in that zone otherwise than in conformity with such plan.”

The concerned authority takes necessary action under section 31 if the construction violates the approved plan. Section 31 empowers the officer of the authority to stop the further development along with prosecution of the owner.

Approach the DDA

Therefore, you should file a complaint before the DDA for taking appropriate action against them. Their construction work is creating an imminent danger to your home. This may also cause irreparable loss to your house. So you should approach the DDA to stop the illegal construction.

Subsection 2 of Section 31 further empowers the DDA to forcefully stop the construction. DDA can take the assistance of the police force to remove the person from the construction site who has been doing construction. It can also remove the workers from the place of construction through police assistance. 

Take alternate legal recourse

The above Act does not limit the victim to avail alternative legal recourses. So you should file a complaint before the sub-divisional magistrate under section 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The alleged construction has a tendency to cause a breach of peace.

Section 145 crpc empowers the executive magistrate to take immediate necessary action for prevention of any breach of peace. The illegal construction will cause a breach of peace. The Magistrate has the power to stop the construction work as well as take a bond from your neighbour under section 107 CrPC for keeping the peace for one year. 

File complain against threatening

You said that they have good contact in the police department so the police will not assist you in this case. So you may file a complaint before the Metropolitan Magistrate under section 200 of CrPC for the offence of criminal intimidation. They are committing a crime which is punishable under section 504/506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The magistrate has vast power under Section 200 of CrPC. If you produce sufficient evidence to the court towards threats then he may summon them as accused. Thereafter, a trial will begin against them. Thereby you can avoid police interference in your case. 

You have the above said remedies against the ongoing illegal construction. However, there is more than one remedy available, but first of all, you should file a complaint before the vice-chairman of the Delhi Development Authority. The authority has vast power to stop the illegal construction and compel them to do construction as per the sanctioned plan.

If you are receiving threats from them, then you can file a complaint under section 200 CrPC. Interference of Magistrate may avoid the police influence in your case. If the Magistrate satisfies from the evidence he may take cognisance and issue process against the accused.

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